how to treat botulism

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rhodered10, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    i have another topic up right now about all of the puzzleing smptoms my hens ahve been having the past couple of days. although it still could be anything we all now believe that it could be botulism.

    it started about 2 days ago with paralysis of 2 of my hens legs one of the hens was worse than the other, the paralysis is as it is decribed with botulism it is a fopply kind of thing not quite like the kind where the cant use a limb they could just use their limb it was just floppy really, it was one leg for each of the 2 hens.

    my chickens have a poultry condioner in their diet that i give them for nutritional purposes like vitamins minerals protein and so on, i had used it last winter but stopped during this summer and just started them on it again.

    so last night when i saw that the poor hen who was the worst could no longer stand on her own i put her on special treatment and because i hadnt ruled out the possibility of a vitamin defieciancy as the cause of her sudden illness i gave her food with a good amount of that supplement but because i ws running low i took the main flock which includes honey the girl who had the same symptoms as pumpkin but milderoff the supplement completly.

    today my girl who was on special treatment with all that supplement was much worse, she has green diarhea and is eating and drinking about half as much as she was yesterday and she is very floppy,so floppy that no matter how hard we try she cant stand up, thankfully she can still use her head and neck so she can eat and drink on her own.

    but today i also noticed the wierdest thing ohney the girl that wasnt as bad but still had significant floppy leg paralysis just yesterday was totaly fine. there is till the tiniest little limp ther but its amazing its like someone flipped a switch.

    while i am very thrilled that honey has recovered i am still very cincerned about my girl pumpkin who is alot worse off now. so we all think it is botulism, but now i need to know how to treat it. i have read about flushes like the epsom salt and molasses ones but they sound a bit harsh, we are starting vitmin therapy (without that darn supplemet!)tomarrow and we also have anibiodics but i am unsure if i should use them yet.

    although we are not 100% sure if botulism is what is causing all this it sounds the most likely at this point and even if it isnt i should start some kind of treatment anyway.

    so my main question is whats the best way to treat botulism and what should i do to stop it?

    (also just to be sure my aunt is a scientist for our state and she tests for diceases and bacteria like botulism so we are going to send in the supplement to see if it tests positve)
  2. I'm not sure it's botulism. And that's a good thing.
    As far as I know, there is no cure for botulism. The bacteria spreads throughout the system quickly, and the damage is caused by the toxin excreted by the bacteria as it reproduces. In humans, by the time the symptoms are pronounced, it may be too late for antitoxin. However, I suppose that if the immune system fought the bacteria off before the toxins rose to fatal levels, a bird might be able to fight it off, but this is totally conjecture on my part. It may not end up being botulism - there are SO many things that can go wrong with chickens health-wise, and for centuries the food production of chickens led to most chicken health problems being solved at the business end of a hatchet. Who knows what kind of medical issues chickens might be capable of having?

    Botulism bacteria live in the soil (they are common as dirt), and it is an anaerobic bacteria (thrives in the absence of oxygen). I have read that if chickens eat spoiled cabbage (I would assume this includes other cruciform veg: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.) it can give them botulism. Keeping a clean chicken pen/run is probably the best preventative.

    I know there have been other paralysis issues raised on this board before, and that at least one of them was a vitamin issue. The owner gave the afflicted girl supplements for awhile, and she bounced back. So for treatment options, I would suggest doing a search for leg paralysis / chicken can't walk / paralyzed - something like that. Best of luck. [​IMG]
  3. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    thanks for your reply, i thought it was botulism because of my other girls strange recovery. i think it must be something intestinal but it doesnt sound like a vitamin defficiancy to me or a dicease. its all so confusing and frustrating to me, i want totreat it but i dont really know how because i cant tell what it is.
    right now my sick girl is on antibiotics and vitamin E and ill see where that goes, i want to worm her but i dont know if thats a good idea with her not strong enough to walk, she seems perky and she is eating and drinking normal amounts but pooping very little and her poop is green stinky and it has pink to white fleshy stuff on the outsside of it with white specks on the inside. could her strange poop mean that she has a heavy infestation of worms? i havent actualy seen a worm in her poop though...

    my mom thinks it could be salminilla (not sure about the spelling sorry!) but i dont know if paralysis is one of the smptoms.

    ugh these chickens drive me crazy sometimes, i really dont want to loose her and i want to start a good treatment for whatever it might be. what do you think i should do? if you have any idea of course, cause i sure dont really.....
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'm sorry your chickens are sick. Hope things get better. I do not know about treating Botulism, but here is some information.



    The following solutions or mixtures are recommended to flush the digestive system of toxic substances, most notably for treating birds exposed to botulism toxins.

    Molasses Solution

    Add one pint of molasses to 5 gallons of water

    Offer the drinking solution free-choice to the affected birds for about four hours. Treat severely affected birds individually if they cannot drink. Return the birds to regular water after the treatment period.

    As a supportive treatment for symptoms resulting from Cryptosporidia infection, often referred to as coronaviral enteritis, use:

    One quart molasses in 20 gallons of water

    Offer this solution free-choice for a period of up to 7-10 days. It is assumed that the molasses replaces certain minerals lost from diarrhea during the course of the infection.

    Epsom Salt Solution

    1 lb Epsom Salt per 15 lb feed
    1 lb Epsom Salt per 5 gallons water for 1 day

    Give the epson salt feed mixture as the sole feed source for a one day period. This feed can be used only if the birds are eating. If the birds are not eating, use the water solution. If the birds are unable to eat or drink by themselves, use individual treatment with:

    1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt in 1 fl oz water

    Place the solution in the crop of the affected bird. This same amount of solution will treat 5-8 quail or one chicken.

    Castor Oil Therapy

    Dose individual birds with .5 oz castor oil.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  6. I haven't had any experience with paralysis that wasn't injury-related. I know on this site there have been oodles of discussions about leg paralysis (often in relation to Marek's, which causes leg paralysis), and many of those discussions include treatment advice. I would do a search on this forum for paralysis, or mareks, or chicken not walking, and see what you can find in those discussions that seems analogous to your case. Sometimes that's all we can do. Good Luck!! [​IMG]
  7. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chirping

    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    There's also a possibility that it's not a vitamin deficiency as much as it could be an overdose of a vitamin or mineral in that supplement. That yells out at me based on you just restarting the supplement before this all started, the milder one getting better when you stopped it, & the sicker one getting MUCH worse after that larger dose. I'm not certain how vitamin/mineral overdoses can affect birds, but certain ones can have drastic effects on humans, especially the fat-soluble ones like Vitamin A, etc. If they were healthy & had a good diet, etc. the supplement could have been too much for them & they just couldn't handle it & started getting sick from it. How about stopping the supplements for the sick one & watching how she does for a day?
  8. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    i have been researching for some time now but it is just so hard to diagnose because it is just so strange.
    i havent been giving her the supplement for almost 2 days now and she is about the same, she loves grit tho. i noticed that she is eating and drinking almost normal amounts, maybe a little less but when you take her out of her crate to clean it she is always trying to eat stuff on the floor (wood shavings dirt and so on) i didnt like her doing that so i would just give her some food in a dish while i cleaned and she would still just eat stuff on the ground, when i checked her poop it just didnt seem very digested it was basicly crumble mash except green and stinky, soi gave her some grit and she LOVED it, she perked right up and started having the time of her life pecking at it and eating it. it was like she had been waiting for that for the past 3 days. i dont knwo if that is a ssign of something but it is something i supose.
    could it be a calcium deficiancy? i ran out of crushed oyster shell a little while ago, she did lay an egg 2 days ago but it had a very thin shell. i dont know if that could mean anything but i figured i could at least just put it out there.

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